To reduce the stress on your spine and its surrounding soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, etc.), it is necessary to regularly take breaks from sitting (at least every twenty to thirty minutes). A simple analogy is to consider an elastic band. If you pull the elastic band apart, it will spring back to its original position. However, over time, repetitive and prolonged stretching of the elastic band will result in the band becoming elongated. A similar scenario occurs to the soft tissue of the spine during sitting/slouching in front of a PC all day. This leads to instability and an increased likelihood of injury.
At Bodymotion, we will be happy to advise you on work related postural issues.
Regular exercise also plays an important role in your spinal health and prevention of injury. It is recommended that people take at least 20 minutes of exercise a day to improve cardiovascular fitness. In addition, a simple, well-performed weights programme is advisable. However, if technique is poor, this may perpetuate an existing injury.
All too often, we are exposed to new types of equipment in the gym which are claimed to be the answer for developing strength, decreasing back pain, improving flexibility, etc. One of our chiropractors Ben Glenister explains more about one of the latest crazes, The Power Plate here. Furthermore, if we are not trying to get fitter at the gym, there are new gaming systems such as the Wii Fit which are now available. A major advantage is that this will help get Londoners fitter, but what are the disadvantages?
At Bodymotion, we will advise you on an individual exercise programme and/or discuss your current programme to ensure that it is not aggravating your complaint. Exercise and rehabilitation are the keystones to protecting your joints and preventing re-injury.
Excessive weight can be detrimental to your spinal health, as it alters your posture and increases your spinal load. Over time, this may result in increased stress being placed on areas of the spine that do not have a predominantly weight-bearing function. This can lead to degeneration and, eventually, painful symptoms.
Apart from a healthy, balanced diet, it is essential to maintain hydrated. Water is an essential component to intervertebral discs and lack of water often contributes to symptoms such as headaches. Dehydration has also been shown to have a detrimental effect on mental function.
It is recommended that water intake should be increased during hot weather and when exercising.